Wood County Commission President Blair Couch swears in Doug Sturm as the new investigator for the Wood County Prosecutor’s Office on Monday. The investigator will help the Prosecutor’s Office prepare for trials, looking for any gaps that need to be addressed where additional statements, gathering video or more work is needed.
(Photo by Brett Dunlap)
PARKERSBURG — Retired Parkersburg Police detective Doug Sturm was sworn in this week as the new investigator for the Wood County Prosecutor’s Office.
He was sworn in on Monday before the Wood County Commission and started work that day.
Wood County Prosecuor Pat Lefebure said Sturm, a 25-year police veteran, is a qualified investigator who he has worked with over the last 15 years. Lefebure said this is the first investigator their office has had since the early 1990s.
“This is a big deal,” he said.
A recent federal audit of the prosecutor’s office talked with everyone and looked at all the systems they have in place.
“One of the key findings they made is that we need an investigator, someone who can help fill in the gaps in some cases,” Lefebure said. “That was one of the number-one priorities for our office to secure an investigator.”
With the demands on many people’s time, the investigator would help with needed work “to solidify some of our bigger cases,” he said.
“He will be a real asset to Wood County, the commission and my office,” Lefebure added.
The investigator will help the Prosecutor’s Office prepare for trials, looking for any gaps that need to be addressed where additional statements, gathering video or more work is needed. Lefebure said he also wants the person to focus on domestic violence cases, making sure people follow through with initial complaints, making sure witnesses show up, statements are followed through on and other additional work is done.
The investigator, who will be full-time, would be utilized by all the prosecutors in his office.
In the past, the prosecutor’s office would have to ask deputies from the sheriff’s department to gather additional statements and do the other work.
Officials said the position would free up deputies to remain focused on their regular duties.
The commission worked in the funding for the position in the 2021-22 budget. Lefebure commended the commission for their support for this position.
“This is something that will help the victims of crime, our society in Wood County and will try to make our cases better going forward,” he said.
Commissioner Jimmy Colombo, who is the former mayor of Parkersburg, said Sturm was always an exemplary example of a police officer for the city.
“I am glad you found him and he found you,” he said.